Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
2 Corinthians 4 (NIV)
Present Weakness and Resurrection Life
4 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
How did the light of Christ first break through to you?
Precious Father, You are the light of the World. Thank You for the people who have shed Your light on my life. Through their witness and prayers, my heart was exposed to the light of Your truth. When I submitted my life to You, that light started to shine through me. Your light exposes the darkness that the devil hides in. Satan’s work of blinding is great, but Your work of bringing light is greater. Your light enlightens my sinful motives, desires, and plans. It is through Your light that my life has been transformed. The closer I get to You, the more I am able to see things and understand things in the light of Your truth. That you have entrusted such a precious gift of Your light in my broken and humble life, a cracked and imperfect jar of clay is an amazing gift. Help me use it. Although I suffer from the pressures and darkness of the world, I can never be crushed. Even when I don’t know what to do, I can never give up. In times of trouble, I know that You are with me. When I am knocked down, I need to get up again. No matter what I face in life, I need to let Your light shine for all to see. Strengthen my faith as You shine Your light on the eternal things that cannot be seen. Let me lead others through my obedience in following Your light to Your eternal glory. Amen